From Bedrijven
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bedrijf Logo
Quick Facts
sectorFinance (Pension)
Headquarters (Benelux Organization)Zeist (Utrecht), Netherlands
Year of Origin1969
Emissions (All Scopes)+5.5 Megatons of CO2 (2020)
NCI assessmentLow
Total Asset Value 2020286.163 billion EUR
Key PeopleJohn Landman (CEO) and Joanne Kellerman (Chairman)
Number of Employeesn/a

Pensioenfonds Zorg & Welzijn, stylized as PFZW, is a pension fund for the healthcare & welfare sector. In that context, the foundation collects the pension contributions paid by employers and employees. These contributions are invested on behalf of the participants. After retirement, the foundation pays out te retirement pension. The foundation is also responsible for the payment of survivor’s and orphan’s pensions.[1] It had almost 3 million (former) participants in 2020.[2]

PFZW has outsourced the pension administration and management of invested capital to PGGM.[3] PGGM is a pension fund service provider.[4] PFZW is PGGM's largest client.[5]

Company Structure

Board of Directors

The CEO of PFZW is John Landman.[6]

The Management Board consists of representatives of the employer organisations from the sector, representatives from employee organisations, a representative of pensioners and an independent chair. The chairman is Joanne Kellerman. The respresentatives employee organisations are Jorick de Bruin (labor union CNV Connectief), Cees Dert (NU’91), Mariëtte Simons (chosen boardmember pensioners), Ilse van der Weiden (labor union FNV) and Leonne Jansen (labor union FNV). The representatives from the employer organisations are Age Bakker (VGN), Petra de Bruijn (Social Work Netherlands), Jacqueline Joppe (Actiz), Pascal Wolters GGZ Netherlands) and André ten Damme (ActiZ).[7]

The Supervisory Board is appointed by the Management Board. The members of the Supervisory Board are Jack Buckens (chair), Jo van Engelen, Kees Goudswaard and Henny Kapteijn.[8]


Since the annual report of 2020, the external independent accountant of PFZW is PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants (PwC).[9] In the audit report attached to the year report of 2021, climate change is mentioned. They evaulated the potential impact of climate change on the financial position of PFZW, but did not come to a key audit matter. Climate change is also mentioned as part of a key audit matter regarding the valuation of investments.

Main Activities

PFZW is the pension fund for the healthcare & welfare sector. It is a not for profit foundation. The Management Board is responsible for the policy and implementation of the collective pension scheme. An important body within the organisation is the Pension Council, the statutory accountability body at PFZW. The Pension Council advises the board in advance about the pension policy. It also assessess anually (in retrospect) whether the board has acted correctly. The Pension Council consits of participants, employers and pensioners.

The organisation states that it aims to invest the pension contributions of participants and employers in a sustainable manner, while maintaining the desired financial return.[10]


Paris Agreement until Today

Asset value since 2015

Financial situation
Year Asset value
2015 185.650 billion EUR [11]
2016 207.215 billion EUR [12]
2017 215.215 billion EUR [13]
2018 217.909 billion EUR [14]
2019 263.450 billion EUR [15]
2020 286.163 billion EUR [16]
2021 303.285 billion EUR [17]

Current emissions

In 2020 PFZW reported that it’s CO2-footprint of the investement portfolio in 2020 was 152 ton CO2 per million dollar company turnover. Which is, according to it’s own reporting, a reduction of 53% in it’s CO2 footprint compared to the 2014 baseline of 339 ton CO2 per million dollar company turnover.[18]

In 2021 PFZW reported, for the first time, on its absolute CO2-footprint in 2020, based on emission-data of 2019. PFZW reported an absolute CO2-footprint of 5.5 Mton in 2020.[19]

In reality the CO2-footprint will be much higher for PFZW as this footprint is based on a selective set of asset classes. It only reports on €100 billion of the €238 billion invested assets. Data from other portfolio’s, such as Private Equity, Credit Risk Sharing and listed Real Estate is currently not available at PFZW. Moreover, the quality and coverage of data in some asset classes is poor and incomplete. For some of the classes it reports on, the coverage is only around 50%. Also, PFZW reports on the scope 2 CO2-footprint (2 Mton), but does not include this number in its total CO2-footprint due to issues of “double counting”. The report explains this issue as follows: scope 2 emissions are usually attributed to emissions from energy suppliers, but some companies in PFZW’s portfolio attribute such emissions to scope 1. Lastly, none of the scope 3 emissions of the companies in PFZW’s investment portfolio are included in this calculation.[20]

PFZW does not report on its own scope 1 and 2 emissions in its annual report or sustainability report.

Total emissions 5.5 Megatonnes of CO2 as reported by PFZW (2020)
Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 3
n/a (2020) n/a (2020) 5.5 Megatonnes of CO2 (2020)

Climate policy and plans

Current Policies

Current sustainability policies of PFZW are focused on four pillars.

  1. PFZW wanted to quadruple the investments in sustainable solutions, which meant an increase from €5 billion in 2015 to €20 billion in 2020. In recent years PFZW invested €19.8 billion in solutions for climate change, water scarcity, health care and food security; 2.8 €billion of these investments were new in 2020.[21]
  2. PFZW aimed to lower the CO2 footprint of its investment by 50% from 2015 to 2020. According to the annual report of 2020, PfZW is selling al its shares in the most CO2 intensive companies in the most polluting sectors: utilities, energy and materials.[22]
  3. PFZW intends to fully integrate ESG-factors into all its investments.[23]
  4. PFZW wants to contribute to the sustainability goals by positioning itself as an active shareholder. Through their voting and engagement activities, PFZW claims to adress policies and activities of the companies and markets they invest in, if in PfZWs view they take insufficient account of the environment and society in their operations.[24]

An example of pillar four activities was demonstrated in 2021, when PFZW voted against Shell's transition policy in a shareholders' meeting, supporting the resolution of the green activist investor group Follow This. Shares of top polluters, such as ExxonMobil, were sold.[25]

Besides these four pillars, PFZW also reports that it also actively contributes to the development of international and European standards, such as the European taxonomy for sustainable finance. Moreover, it claims that it also puts pressure on companies to reduces their CO2 by forming coalitions.[26]

Climate plans

PFZW has set its climate goals in a policy paper called Climate Strategy 2020 – 2025. In this policy paper PFZW states that its ambition is to have a climate neutral investment portfolio in 2050 in line with the ambitions of the European Union. A climate neutral portfolio is a portfolio with net-zero CO2-emissions, according to PFZW. It aims to achieve this goal by a combination of reduction of CO2-emissions at companies they invest in and by investing less in CO2-intensive companies. The remaining CO2-emissions will be offset against investments with negative emissions, such as initiatives that remove and store CO2 from the air. Moreover, PFZW also claims that it will contribute by investing in climate solutions, such as wind farms and solar energy.[27] However, PFZW does not provide any further detail, therefore possibly paving the way to offset a large part of their footprint instead on reducing their emissions.

PFZW keeps investing in CO2-intensive sectors, but only those who are according to PFZW cleaner businesses in this sector. It aims to use its influence as shareholder to urge these companies to become more sustainable. They do this through engagement with companies and by voting at shareholder meetings for initiatives that accelerae energy transition.[28]

Concerning measurable goals, PFZW aims to reduce its CO2-footprint in the Equities portfolio by another 30%. Other portfolio’s, such as Credit, Private Real Estate and Infrastructure lack a proper methodology to measure the climate impact. Therefore, PFZW first aims to resolve issues regarding the availability of data, missing data and options for portofolio management. Coming years, PFZW will work on the specification of the reduction objective for these investment categories. Meanwhile, there will not be a clear target on CO2-reductions for these portfolio’s, while at this moment they account for a large share of all investments of PFZW.[29]

PFZW aims to bring its investements in line with the EU taxonomy for climate mitigation and climate adoptation. PFZW’s investements in line with the taxonomy will be set for growth up to 2025.[30] However, the list of sustainable investments that the taxonomy provides is highly disputed, as the current proposal also considers gas and nuclear power plants as sustainable. Gas plants still cause a lot of CO2 emissions and nuclear power plants produce nuclear waste that remains radioactive for thousands of years.[31]

Moreover, PFZW states that it will end their investments in companies that generate more than 5% of their income in coal mining or coal-fired power plants. For tar sands, this limit is 1%.[32]

NewClimate Institute (NCI) Report

Due Diligence

Due Diligence

PFZW claims in its investment strategy that it will refrain from investing in or exert its influence in cases of serious violations of the OECD Guidelines for International Businesses and the UN Global Compact principles.[33]

On 28 February 2022, 4 days after the Russian invasion in Ukraine, a Dutch news website has made an inventory of investments of Dutch pension funds in Russian companies and government bonds. This shows that PFZW has EUR 1.2 billion in investments in Russia. That is more than 0.4 percent of the total investments of PFZW. In absolute numbers it is the largest investor in Russia of the Dutch pension funds. This also includes many government bonds, with a value of around EUR 700 million. A spokesperson of the fund stated that it follows developments in Ukraine and "The PFZW board will consider how to deal with this".[34] On 3 March 2022 PFZW announced on its website that it will sell its investments in Russia, but warned that the sale will take some time "as market conditions are complex at the moment". The sale of the interests is carried out by executive organization PGGM.[35]

Scandals and controversies

2021: The 10 largest pension funds in the Netherlands invest €8.2 billion in 46 companies that are involved in serious violations of land rights. The largest investors are ABP, PFZW and PMT. None of these pension funds tackle all te companies in which it invests that are guilty of land grabbing. Nor does any of the pension funds make a structural effort to compensate victims of land grabbing.[36]

2021: In 2020 PFZW held EUR 2.9 billion in bonds and shares issued by energy companies. 83% of these investments were attributable to fossil fuels and 17% to renewable energy. Although this was an improvement compared to 2018 when 93% of its investments were attributable to fossil fuels, the change in composition was mainly driven by the decreasing value of investments in fossil fuels and an increase in the value of investments in renewable energy.[37]

2021: In 2021 the Fair Pension Guide Netherlands reported that PFZW keeps investing in Balloré despite expressed concerns of human rights violations and land rights violations by multiple NGOs. Bolloré is a major shareholder (39,7%[38] of palm oil company Socfin. Operations of Socfin have been associated with abuses and landgrabbing in Cameroon. Local communities complain about lack of land to support themselves with food, intimidation and environmental pollution.[39][40] In February 2022 PFZW still owned EUR 6.550.790 shares in Bolloré.[41]

2022: In February 2022 PFZW declared that it is demanding a climate plan from the oil and gas companies it invests in. These companies must demonstrate within 2 years that they have initiated a convincing and verifiable energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement. With this step, PFZW is clearly choosing a different route than pension funds ABP and PME. Last year ABP decided to no longer invest in fossil industries after pressure from participants. Climate orientated NGO’s are critical as this transition of PFZW is too slow in the face of the looming climate crisis.[42]

Climate Commitment

In 2019 PFZW signed the Climate Commitment of the financial sector. The 54 signatories committed to make a substantial contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Dutch Climate Agreement. Concretely: they will measure the CO2 content of their relevant loans and investments and report on this from 2020 onwards and they will publish action plans by 2022 at the latest, including reduction targets for 2030 for all their relevant loans and investments.

Criticism on this commitment:

  • This commitment is without obligation. There are no requirements set for the action plans to be published in 2022. Only 19% of signatories had an action plan in line with the Paris Climate Agreement by 2020. In addition, the commitment does not specify the relevant financing and/or investments on which the institutions must report. In 2020, only 9 out of 54 financial institutions report on all relevant asset classes.
  • The pace of implementation of this commitment is too slow. Financial institutions such as ABN AMRO, Aegon, ING and Rabobank already committed themselves to the Spitsbergen ambition in 2018, in which they promised to combat climate change. In 2020, almost half of the institutions did not yet have a climate plan.


PFZW claims that it has the ambition to commit to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and keep global warming well under the 2 degrees Celsius. PFZW's sustainability strategy is however not alligned with the Paris Agreement. The ambition to reduce investments in fossil fuels and improve reporting on CO2 emissions in the investment portfolio are good first steps. However, the lack of a clear pathway to a net-zero portfolio in 2050 and the ambition to only reduce 30% CO2-emissions by 2025 (vs. 2020) are major shortcomings in the sustainability strategy. This makes PFZW's commitment to the Paris Agreement not credible.


  5. consulted on 4 March, 2022
  7. consulted on February 11, 2022
  8. consulted on February 11, 2022
  9. PFZW. (2022). Jaarverslag 2021.
  19. – page 24
  20. – page 24
  25. – consulted on February 25, 2022
  26. page 7
  27. – page 6
  28. – page 6
  29. – page 9
  30. – page 9
  31. – consulted on February 24, 2022
  33. – page 11
  35. consulted on 30 March, 2022
  37. - page 83
  38. - consulted on March 10, 2022
  40. consulted on February 25, 2022
  41. - consulted on March 10, 2022
  42. consulted on 2022, February 25